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Navidad en Acción (Christmas in Action) Blitz Build

November 19 – December 10, 2011

This was my second Navidad en Acción (Christmas in Action) Blitz Build in El Salvador. The build was in Guadalupe which is a village located a 30 minute bus drive from San Vicente, which is East of San Salvador. During the build we stayed at a guest house called Posada Belen in the city of San Vicente. The Habitat GV Team was made up of sixteen Canadians, all from Alberta. The team leader was Orest Myckan.

My first build In El Salvador was in 2008 and was outside of Sonsonate which is a small city situated West of San Salvador. Five of the members of the 2011 team were on the 2008 team.

To make it easier to review the photos I have divided my photos into a number of categories. Following are links to each of the pages:

The Build                          Other Photos

Opening Ceremony           The Team

House 1, 3 & 6                  Guadalupe

House 2                              San Vicente and area

House 4                              People

House 5                              R&R

The Families                     Sonsonate

Dedication Ceremony      Dennis’ Photos


The build project was a blitz build of six houses, all situated in South West Guadalupe. It was Habitat El Salvador’s Navidad en Acción (Christmas in Action) Blitz Build. The week of November 21-25 was preparation work for the blitz build.  Our team, along with a 16 member team from Farm Credit Canada in Regina, spent this week doing construction site preparation and advancing the construction started prior to our arrival. The actual Navidad en Acción blitz started on November 28 with the addition of many local volunteers from schools, churches and other groups, plus outside contractors for roofing and window work. On this second week we were joined by a team of six Canadians from BC who continued the work finalizing the houses for a week after we left. Our team worked mostly on house numbers 2, 4 and 5.

The project started long before our arrival with a prolonged effort to identify suitable families, and the logistical planning for materials, personnel and volunteers. For some of the houses the initial site prep and subfloor levelling was done prior to our arrival. Dennis Mialki, who is an engineer and Habitat volunteer from Charlotte NC was in El Salvador for a couple of weeks before us and did a lot of logistical preparation for the Navidad en Acción Blitz Build. He has provided some photos of the properties before work started and the work that was done in preparation for our arrival in Guadalupe on November 21.

On the weekend between the building work we visited a number of small towns in the area east of San Salvador. They included Suchitoto (tourist market & nice restaurants), San Sebastian (weaving) and Ilobasco (clay work & pottery).  

At the end of the Navidad en Acción blitz week there was a formal ceremony to hand over the houses to their new owners. House number 2 was very close to completion but the other houses required varying amounts of work including roofs, windows, painting, sidewalks, plumbing hook-ups and other odds and ends but all the walls were finished. After many speeches thanking all the volunteers and everyone else in sight each of the owners was presented with a key and a bible and a ribbon was cut to officially open house No 2.  It was a very emotional ceremony for all the families and volunteers.

After two weeks of hard work we treated ourselves to a few days of relaxation with a couple of days at a resort called Rancho Estero y mar and the four days at Hotel Pacific Paradise on the Costa del Sol – check it out - Hotel Pacific Paradise. Some of the team took a day trip to San Salvador for shopping and tourism and some of the team who had been in El Salvador in 2008 did a day trip to Sonsonate to check out the houses we had build and visit with Don Vicente and his family.


For more information on Habitat for Humanity click on the following links:

Habitat Canada & Habitat Global Village

Habitat El Salvador

And don’t forget our Trip Leader Orest – his webpage is